An Overview of the
Marissa's Reef Project
As stated on a previous page, the CBO Foundation was concieved many years ago with a goal to not just increase awareness of the many oceans issues, but to build an aquatic memorial exhibit to honor The Shark's (our Founder) first granddaughter Marissa Sabrina Reyes.
Marissa was lost suddenly to a flash flood in Carefree, Arizona on August 9, 2005, at the tender age of seven. She was born premature on the Shark's birthday in 1998. This tragic event became one of the root passions driving the CBO Foundation forward. It impacted all family members as one might expect. It had a much greater effect on the Shark, who shifted his personal focus from purely building businesses to building “Marissa’s Reef For Heavenly Helpers” a legacy memorial project.
The Shark's determination to build Marissa's Reef has only grown since her death, and has driven many of his eco-friendly companies that were designed with a purpose-driven goal to help fund its construction.
The Shark originally set-out to build Marissa's Reef on the Island of Maui, Hawaii, in 2006, and planned to retire there by 2020. That plan failed due to a lack of funding. He had designed his Maui Aquarium Golf Resort & Conference Center on 500 acres around the West Maui airport in Kapalua. It was to be built around a coffee plantation as seen below.
The Shark considered alternate locations in Las Vegas, Nevada,
several Caribbean locations, a few along the California coast and Port of Ponce, in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. None of these locations made sense over Maui.
The proposed Aquarium Plaza Resort and Conference Center is a mixed-use hotel, retail and office complex development featuring a 400 suite luxury hotel hosting the
Marissa's Reef For Heavenly
Helpers Memorial exhibit as its signature attraction.
The exhibit has undergone several redesigns over the years, including a smaller Maui hillside parcel. It
was to feature a 100-foot round saltwater aquarium that stands 80’ feet tall, with a full walk-through tunnel below it (seen above). The aquarium tank featured an amazing tropical reef formation within its center called Marissa’s Reef. There were to be six rows of stadium-like seating around one half of its entire clear acrylic wall, to allow for viewing by the public of the tank, plus nearby islands and our famous Maui sunsets.
At first, The Shark intended to build this memorial project to honor only Marissa’s life, but later he elected to showcase the 200,000 or more reef fish needed to fill the aquarium tank as SpiritFish. The SpiritFish program will allow parents or family members of a child lost due to natural or weather related disasters; like flooding, tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes or wildfires to name a reef fish after their lost child to serve as their SpiritFish.
The family then releases their personal SpiritFish into the Sea-of-Angels to live among "Marissa’s Reef" for all eternity. Through this program SpiritFish become the collective ambassadors for our oceans, showcasing that regardless of color, sex, race, religion or nationality they can coexist in peace and harmony on the reef.
Parents or family members will also be able to upload photos, video clips and other details about their lost Spiritfish to the SpiritFish Memorial Website, which can be viewed by visitors onsite or from home, or be password protected to allow only family members to access this content.
Visitors would be able to view this MUST VISIT - one-of-a-kind-attraction in person, while others will be able to view it from the comfort of wherever they may be via a series of underwater web cams. We intended to feature a number of web cams of the resort and sunset views to entice new visitors to come to Maui. Although our Founder's APVG and The CBO Foundation has not yet made this project a reality, we welcome your financial support in doing so, whether on Maui or in California.
The Georgia Aquarium is one of the largest public aquariums in the world. This video shares its main attraction with you. Enjoy your journey to the underwater world.
The original location planned for Marissa's Reef was on the west side of the Island of Maui, Hawaii, offering the best destination beaches and golf resorts.
West Maui is most famous for Lahaina Town and its historic whalers village, yacht harbor, banyan tree and front street shops and restaurants.